Dominic Mazzone: Founder & CEO, Smashbox Consulting

Written by: Stephanie Andrews

In providing a valuable opportunity for consumers, entrepreneurs need to understand how to identify an opportunity on their end. Dominic has narrowed his criteria for a good opportunity down to 5 questions:

Is it interesting? Is it profitable? How soon can it be profitable? What’s the cash outlay? How much of my time will it take? According to Dominic, these questions are especially important when it comes to money. 

“Screw funding. Go out and bust ass and figure out if what you’re doing is worthwhile,” he says. “Then, once you have a situation worth funding, that’s when you can come up with a pitch deck.”

When investors see a pitch deck, they aren’t looking for an excited entrepreneur. They want a venture with merit, presented by a confident founder who knows what they are talking about.Be prepared for questions, investors often ask basic questions to make sure you know your business. 

“When I was raising money for my business people would ask: What are your margins? Boom - knew them. What’s the revenue? Bang. What’s your net margin? Got it. Practice is key. Rehearse your pitch and go in with a ton of fire so investors can’t resist you.”

Even if your pitch goes to plan, Mazzone advises patience. When an opportunity has been recognized, it’s easy to mentally prepare for instant success. But for most startups, it never goes down that way. Above all other investments, Dominic says the most critical one is time.

“Sometimes business feels like you’re pushing against a brick wall, but really you’re moving it… We need to understand what time management is and how long it will take to reap the rewards of that investment.”